Lizzy and I have been online friends for a while now, and though we have never met in person she’s one of those amazing girls who I just feel like I know. She’s multi talented and works in art, is musical and plays the harp, and creates the cutest vegan recipes.
She has also overcome an eating disorder, which she shares here, and has curated an exhibit to dispel stigma around mental health in young people.
What do you do: Curator, Art PR, Art Blogger (multiple art based projects on a freelance basis!) and part time model
I feel the healthiest when…
I take care of my body the way it deserves and I have not been kept indoors all day. I am not the most sporty person and don’t really exercise much, but I do love to dance – ballet and ballroom.
Vegan, mostly gluten free but not strict!
Today I ate…
For breakfast I had pancakes made out of plantains (Recipe: one black overripe plantain, one tablespoon buckwheat flour, one flax egg and one tablespoon of almond milk and blend in a blender) the sweetness of the overripe plantain means there is absolutely no need for any sweetener. I then topped this with mango puree which is sold in tins in the world food section of UK supermarkets.
For lunch I had a salad which consisted of chopped brussels sprouts, sun-dried tomatoes, green olives, lupin beans and roasted carrots, zucchini, parsnips and artichoke hearts. I topped this with a dressing made of equal parts tomato puree, hoisin sauce and hot water – it sounds weird but it really goes well together! As a dessert I had a chopped pear with a drizzle of tahini and one chopped up medjool date.
In the afternoon I had a coffee with almond milk, cardamom and rose syrup (if I am feeling extra decadent I use hazelnut milk instead of almond, it is insanely good, another alternative to rose syrup that I discovered in Corsica this year is orgeat, which is basically a syrup made out of almonds!)
For dinner I made cauliflower soup (1 onion, 1.5 cups cauliflower, 1 cup water, vegan stock powder, turmeric and curry powder), I also made bread out of just chickpea flour and water as a side which I dunked in salsa!
Before bed I usually have a hot chocolate with almond milk and today was no exception, I have a mini cup – normally just cacao, almond milk, date or grape molasses and some spices thrown in.
Unique or funny food combos you like to eat:
I’m not sure how weird it is but I like to eat every single part of the cauliflower, I’m talking leaves, florets and root.
There is an Armenian dish called nivig that I could eat all day long seven days a week and remain happy. It is made up on onions, tomato, spinach and chickpeas. It sounds super simple but it is absolutely delicious. My mum always told me that it is the perfect dish because the tomato makes it easier to absorb the calcium from the spinach as well as protein from the chickpeas. It is also really cheap to make which is an added bonus!
At the moment I like to chop up a super spotty ripe banana into coins, then drizzle tahini on the top and chop up one medjool date and sprinkle it over the banana – it is amazing trust me
I’d like to do an eating tour of…
Lebanon and Armenia, my mother is Armenian but she grew up in Beirut and I absolutely love Middle Eastern food!
What do you always have in your cupboards:
Chickpeas, tins of ful medamnes, tomato paste, chickpea flour, buckwheat flour, flax which I grind myself, nutritional yeast, oats, coffee, peppermint tea, cocoa, tahini, dates and cardamom. In terms of fresh produce I always have bananas, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, cauliflower and whatever else is in season and takes my fancy.
What was your relationship with food like when you were younger?
As a child I had a huge appetite and pretty much ate anything and everything. Unfortunately as a teenager and into my early twenties I suffered from anorexia and spent more time at doctors and hospital appointments than at university, until I discovered veganism and began to heal my body.
How has it changed now?
I still have my bad days but I know how to care for my body now and appreciate how amazing it is to be healthy. I eat pretty much all vegan food, the only thing on this earth that I can’t stand is beetroot.
How did you overcome anorexia? Do you have any advice to others?
Honestly for me, I just wanted to get better so that I didn’t have to drop out of university. I wanted to get my degree and I was so physically sick I used to faint in classes and doing simple things like walking up the stairs. I couldn’t concentrate until I started to eat right. It’s hard to give one piece of advice because everyone in this situation is different. But I can give assurance that your physical body is an amazing vessel and choosing to look after it and nourish it properly will allow you to do anything. Meditation also helped me a lot too.
Cooking or takeout:
What do you eat to treat yourself?
There is a company based in the UK called Raw Imagination which makes the most delicious raw sandwiches that I don’t eat too often as they are very expensive and quite high fat, however when I do eat them they are out of this world, my personal favourite is the raw club sandwich!
What do you cook for friends:
Raw vegan deserts and gingerbread cookies. I don’t really have any vegan friends but I did manage to pull off a vegan sushi night for myself and four very non vegan friends a few years ago which went down without a hitch!
Fruit or veggies?
Veggies! I have always been a savoury girl!
Salty or sweet?
Salty, I prefer savoury food, but saying that, I rarely add any salt at all to my dishes
Moderation with eating. Do you practice it?
I guess so – I don’t really think about it so much though – being vegan means that I never really eat anything terrible, and I make most things myself so my consumption of processed food is kept to a minimum.
How does food make you feel happy?
By being both delicious and providing me with the energy that I need to thrive in life, I am definitely not a very pleasant person when I am hungry!
Best food advice:
Tahini makes everything better and chickpea flour is magic.